Unveiling Technical Debt in Software Prototypes: A Framework for Young Practitioners

Unveiling Technical Debt in Software Prototypes: A Framework for Young Practitioners

In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, the concept of Technical Debt has gained prominence. Technical Debt represents the compromise made during the development process that may lead to increased maintenance costs in the future. For young software practitioners, especially university students working on final year projects, understanding and managing Technical Debt is crucial. This article explores a framework designed to identify, measure, and evaluate Technical Debt in software prototypes, shedding light on the experiences of university students navigating this complex terrain.

The Significance of Technical Debt in Prototypes:

Software prototypes serve as a proving ground for innovative ideas, allowing developers to experiment with concepts and functionalities. However, the rush to meet project deadlines, coupled with limited experience, often results in the accumulation of Technical Debt. This debt may manifest as inefficient code, inadequate documentation, or suboptimal design choices.

The Framework:

  1. Identification:

    • Begin by fostering a culture of awareness among young practitioners. Educate them on the concept of Technical Debt and its long-term consequences.

    • Utilize code analysis tools to identify potential debt areas. This can include tools that highlight code complexity, duplication, and adherence to coding standards.

  2. Measurement:

    • Establish quantifiable metrics for Technical Debt. This could involve assessing code quality, such as cyclomatic complexity or code duplication ratios.

    • Encourage students to document decisions made during the development process, providing a basis for measuring debt over time.

  3. Evaluation:

    • Introduce a peer review system where students evaluate each other's code, emphasizing constructive feedback on potential debt areas.

    • Implement regular retrospectives to reflect on the development process, identifying challenges faced and lessons learned regarding Technical Debt.

Case Study: University Students' Final Year Projects

In a case study involving university students working on final year projects, the framework was applied to unravel the complexities of Technical Debt in their software prototypes.


  • Awareness: Students exhibited increased awareness of Technical Debt, recognizing its presence in their projects and understanding its implications.

  • Metrics Implementation: The use of code analysis tools led to the identification of specific debt areas, enabling students to target improvements in their codebase.

  • Peer Collaboration: The introduction of peer reviews fostered a collaborative environment where students actively addressed Technical Debt through shared knowledge and experiences.


  • Time Constraints: Students faced challenges in balancing the need for quick development with the time required to address Technical Debt adequately.

  • Experience Gap: Some students struggled to grasp the nuances of certain debt metrics, highlighting the importance of ongoing education in this area.


The framework for identifying, measuring, and evaluating Technical Debt in software prototypes provides a structured approach for young software practitioners. The case study of university students working on final year projects demonstrates the framework's effectiveness in raising awareness, implementing metrics, and fostering a collaborative environment. As these students transition into the workforce, the lessons learned in managing Technical Debt during their formative years will undoubtedly contribute to their success as seasoned software developers.

Nov. 27, 2023, 9 p.m. | Authored by Dihfahsih


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